Specific question about Star Trek Into Darkness ending. Open spoilers.

Filler text to prevent inadvertant mouse-over spoilerfication.

At the end of STID, Khan is put back into hibernation. Isn’t this essentially giving Khan the death penalty? In the original series, it is revealed that there is no such primitive thinking except for the nebulous “General Order 4”. Surely there is a better solution to dealing with megalomaniacs than literally putting them to sleep.

The death penalty would be actual death. Since he isn’t dead, they’re not equivalent. We know their hibernation technology can last centuries, so maybe some day someone will be willing to wake Khan and his cronies up again, and they’ll get to live.

Or, if they’re genre-aware, they’ll realize that Khan is likely to be woken up sometime while Kirk is still alive and in need of box office $.

I’m torn. Cryonic suspension isn’t the death penalty, but it does have some similarities. It definitely doesn’t help affect rehabilitation. And there is the idea that this version of Khan can’t be killed, so they are doing the next best thing.

It makes it seem like the Federation doesn’t oppose the death penalty out of high minded ideals, but either for practical reasons (they’ve discovered how to rehabilitate everyone) or, more likely, to just make themselves feel better. You know, the same reason everyone didn’t know about Section 31.

Trek has done it before. TNG put the sentient holodeck person Moriarty into a suspended state, and later locked him into a fantasy world.

Not quite the same, true, but it fits in with Trek. Of course, in this reboot, we really can’t compare apples to apples.

In the movie, it seemed more like a “someone else’s problem” solution.

Oh, Khan can be killed. Disintegrate his body thoroughly enough, and there’d be nothing his magic blood could do about it. Heck, even just cremation would probably do it.

But even though the can’t rehabilitate him now, there’s still the chance that in the future, psychiatry will advance to the point where they can. So they freeze him now, to thaw him out at that time.

Half-in-the-bag reviewers wondered about this. They actually said they would like to see the third movie have the guts to show Khan strapped to a tube with his blood being siphoned out of him while he muttered, “Kill…me…please”, but they don’t do it because they need his magic blood.

Good review, too.

No they didn’t. They turned Moriarty’s program off (with his permission), unaware that he would experience the passage of time as a disembodied consciousness in the computer.

When he came back, they just stuck him in a holodeck simulator, programmed with many fun adventures (but no physical holodeck.) It’s an excellent example for software engineers doing blackbox testing.

Thanks. Still works for me as a similar situation. As usual on the SDMB, tho, YMMV

Wondering how a Roy Batty type scene for Khan would’ve gone over…?

Personally, I still say that the Holodeck doesn’t work through technology. It’s a portal to the spirit world. Most of the spirits summoned are willing to entertain humans, but there are a few unseelie ones out there, and even without those, it’s still generally a risky business.

If Khan didn’t know so much about Federation stuff, I’d have just given him to the Klingons. Let him be their problem.

he did say “you should have let me sleep”! kirk heard him. he looked like he was having sweet dreams of universe conquest at the end.

he and his crew would be a bit too dangerous to put into whatever type of jails, prisons, detention centres, etc. the federation has, they would escape in centons.

Yeah, give the super-genius with a grudge against the Federation and the immortality blood to the people you might be heading to war with. That can’t possibly go wrong.

Note that this was likely Khan’s plan in the movie. He deliberately warped himself to the Klingon homeworld, likely intending for the Federation to start a war while seeking revenge. And then he could offer his help against the new Fed superweapon (knowing its ins and outs thoroughly), and get his revenge.
Back to the main topic:

Khan in the movie is actually a hugely symbolic character, because he embodies all the sins of the Federation. he’s a very different character from the original, but in a way that makes sense. Khan reflects back at us all the weaknesses of humanity (even in the optimistic Star Trek era). Khan is ruthless because he was treated ruthlessly; Khan is treacherous because humanity has betrayed him repeatedly; Khan leaps to using violence because humanity seizes at that.

In essence, what J. J. Abrams did was to have the character hold a up a mirror in a way that stays consistent with the original verison fo the character as well. Khan back in Space Seed wasn’t really a monster. He was frightened of humanity in this era and wanted to protect his family - just as Kirk responded to him. It was humanity’s laziness and apathy in checking up on him which led to his abandonment on a dying world, the death of his wife. So he went out to make Kirk care, a rather cutting statement on what he thinks of humanity.

In the new film, it’s the same game, only compressed. This is why the fact that they don’t kill Khan is so important. In essense, the humans of the future acknowledge that this wasn’t some foreign villain - it’s not the Klingons who started or even tried to start a war, but humans. It wasn’t some alien, or even a cruel mutant tyrant who behaved tyrannicaly, but one of the Federation’s highest leaders. By placing Khan in stasis, the Federation is atoning for its crimes through hope. They’re going to wait until one day, when humankind itself might be better people. And on that day, Khan and his family might no longer be feared as tyrants, or hated as monsters, but respected as men.

In short, Abrams turned the original combination of Space Seed and Star Trek 2 around: it was hopes raised and dashed. Here we see first the death of hope for tomorrow, along with its rebirth. it’s a very subtle message, but oen that I would think Trekkies would actually pick up on and admire.

Isn’t something like this the explanation for why Original Series Klingons didn’t have the brow ridge? They were experimenting with captured superhumans to try to do the same things for themselves, and a more human-like appearance was one of the side effects.

Oh bull. They are holding out for the day when they can [del]brainwash away[/del] rehabilitate behaviors that they don’t approve of.

I’m sure once they find a suitable uninhabited planet, they’ll wake 'em up and strand them there where they can live out their lives. What could go wrong?

I think that was explored in the Bakula series, and while I didn’t see much of that one, I think you’re in the ballpark.

Cryogenic stasis not being the death penalty aside, just because the only death penalty in the TOS timeline was gen order 4 doesn’t mean it’s the only death penalty in this timeline.